The focus of the project was on the position of victims in traditional criminal proceedings on the one hand and on compensation (both material and symbolic) on the other. In consequence of the intensified focus on the victim, reflections on compensation have met with increased international attention. In contrast to the USA, few empirical studies are available for the European countries so far. This study for the first time compared empirical information on differential aspects of victim protection and compensation in Germany, France and Austria.

Em­pir­ic­al stud­ies con­duc­ted at the Max Planck In­sti­tute for For­eign and In­ter­na­tion­al Crim­in­al Law, by M. Méri­geau (Méri­geau 1993), K. Krainz (Krainz 1991) and M. Kais­er (M. Kais­er, 1992), between 1990 and 1992 for France, Aus­tria and Ger­many have dealt with the sub­ject of com­pens­a­tion The dis­par­it­ies both in the ques­tions posed and in the im­ple­ment­a­tion of the stud­ies in­ev­it­ably render an in­ter­na­tion­al com­par­is­on prob­lem­at­ic with re­spect to re­search meth­od and con­tent. Nev­er­the­less, a par­tial com­par­is­on of the find­ings de­rived on the im­ple­ment­a­tion of com­pens­a­tion and the at­ti­tudes of the per­sons in­volved in the crim­in­al pro­ced­ure to­wards ef­forts at com­pens­a­tion pro­duced ad­di­tion­al in­form­a­tion on com­mon fea­tures and dif­fer­ences as re­gards the rel­ev­ance, goal and hand­ling of com­pens­a­tion in the in­di­vidu­al coun­tries.
The com­par­is­on between the French and the Ger­man stud­ies con­cen­trates on the at­ti­tudes of jur­ists (judges, pub­lic pro­sec­utors) to­wards vic­tim rights and ef­forts at com­pens­a­tion, where­as the com­par­is­on between the Ger­man and the Aus­tri­an study in­cludes res­ults of tri­al ob­ser­va­tions as well as of vic­tim in­ter­views on vic­tim rights and com­pens­a­tion.